brass management- when to retire brass to the short line?

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brass management- when to retire brass to the short line?

Post by w4ti on Fri Jul 15, 2016 10:54 pm

Hi All,

I've read many instances of what is apparent anecdotal evidence regarding how many firings new brass can take before it somehow loses its ability to hold a good 50 yard group. Does anyone have good evidence to retire brass to the short line from the long line after x amount of firings due to accuracy decline? If so, how many, and can I see the groups (if available)? 

Thanks,
Chase

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Re: brass management- when to retire brass to the short line?

Post by DavidR on Sun Jul 17, 2016 12:10 pm

Dump it When its damaged or cracked, long as its not and the finished round drops in a check gauge it works fine with bullseye loads at 25yds.

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Re: brass management- when to retire brass to the short line?

Post by 10sandxs on Sun Jul 17, 2016 1:31 pm

I'm also interested in this question. I recently started having flyers on the long line and on the ransom rest. after looking at my brass I see Im suffering about 10% cracked necks. This is IMI match brass purchased about 10 to 15 years ago. It has been used only for long line matches and as such probably has only 5 to 10 firings on it. Meanwhile I have inherited TZZ or WCC brass Circa the late seventies and early eighties which has probably been reloaded 50 times before I started it and it's still going strong.

I just purchased 2000 Starline cases specifically for the long line and I'm wondering what other people's experiences on how long they will last. Can i expect one, two, or ten firings on them before long line accuracy is affected?

Also has anyone tried annealing to restore accuracy for their long line cases?

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Re: brass management- when to retire brass to the short line?

Post by w4ti on Sun Jul 17, 2016 7:15 pm

I think annealing 45 brass may be asking too much, but am open to the idea.

I'm mainly interested in this because I've read, in multiple places, that you should take your new brass and use it on the long line anywhere from once only, to anywhere between 4-6 firings, and then others who say some other, higher number.

What got this on my mind, other than the quest for best accuracy, was something on Tony's blog where he said the AMU dumps brass after four firings to the short line/practice bin. I thought that was strange, as I thought the AMU used nothing but new cartridges, sorted by lot to a pistol, for all training and competing and that they didn't reload pistol brass at all (at least, that's what one former member (80-81) said to me. Things could have changed in the meantime, or, more likely, different branches handle this sort of thing differently.

If anyone knows the straight scoop of current practice, I'd love to hear about it.

Thanks,
Chase

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Re: brass management- when to retire brass to the short line?

Post by DavidR on Mon Jul 18, 2016 10:05 am

w4ti wrote:I think annealing 45 brass may be asking too much, but am open to the idea.

I'm mainly interested in this because I've read, in multiple places, that you should take your new brass and use it on the long line anywhere from once only, to anywhere between 4-6 firings, and then others who say some other, higher number.

What got this on my mind, other than the quest for best accuracy, was something on Tony's blog where he said the AMU dumps brass after four firings to the short line/practice bin. I thought that was strange, as I thought the AMU used nothing but new cartridges, sorted by lot to a pistol, for all training and competing and that they didn't reload pistol brass at all (at least, that's what one former member (80-81) said to me. Things could have changed in the meantime, or, more likely, different branches handle this sort of thing differently.

If anyone knows the straight scoop of current practice, I'd love to hear about it.

Thanks,
Chase
When I started bullseye back in 2001 the marines reloaded but latter around 2004 they switched to federal gold match, after a 5 year layoff due to a injury since 2011 Ive shot with many military shooters and all the AMU guys fired new Atlanta arms ammo and they don't save the brass so doubt there is any reloading going on.

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Re: brass management- when to retire brass to the short line?

Post by LenV on Mon Jul 18, 2016 12:05 pm

As a re-loader that uses my arms to re-load (Lee Classic) and not a machine that does it for me. I can tell by feel if I want to use a case over again for the long line or if it is time to down grade or discard. There is a resistance in a case that is still usable that over time and a few (thousands) re-loads you can tell when you re-size the case if the case is still good. I discard cases if the primer does not go in with enough resistance and down grade if the bullet seats to easy (thin or split) or crimps to easy. This is not something that is easy to explain but if you load enough you will also get the "feel" of a case. Kinda hard to show pictures but hope that helps a little.

Len

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Re: brass management- when to retire brass to the short line?

Post by jglenn21 on Mon Jul 18, 2016 12:51 pm

I go strictly by the case length..  when the cases begin to vary in length (even though they have been getting shorter) I push them to the practice/25 yard line... With Starline this is usually after 3-4 uses..

measure your new cases then start measuring them after being fired... it will surprise you..

Len is right about the primer pocket feel..

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Re: brass management- when to retire brass to the short line?

Post by w4ti on Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:16 pm

Len,

Thanks so much for chiming in. It seems to me that there could (should?) be a way to measure a case and/or use some heuristic on when to retire a case to the SL. Tony's blog said to toss the long line cases into the short line bin after 4 firings, and while I don't think that is bad metric necessarily (and I'm not taking issue with Tony for saying it, either!), what I wonder is whether it would work for all brass, or just Starline, or maybe Federal and Starline but not Remington, etc.

If I had a Ransom rest, I'd probably shoot twenty shots, load em up at the range, do again, etc. until I could find where it wasn't as accurate. My sense is that you probably can get more long line accuracy for longer from a piece of brass, but that's just speculation on my part and I don't have the data to prove it.

I someone knows of just such a study, I'd very much like to read the data!

Thanks for chiming in!
Chase

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Re: brass management- when to retire brass to the short line?

Post by w4ti on Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:18 pm

jglenn-

Have you ever roll sized the cases back to spec? I'd love to know if that is really worth doing to keep the brass at the right length.

The only study I'm working on presently is around some Starline 44 Mag. cases where I've been keeping up with length of these full house loads. I'll keep your suggestion in mind- thanks for bringing it up!

Best,
Chase

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Re: brass management- when to retire brass to the short line?

Post by jglenn21 on Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:35 pm

I have not.. only the typical Dillon FL carbide sizer... I do run my old 25 yard line brass through a Lee Bulge buster every so often when the rim gets too large.. definitely helps with reliability

be interesting to see if the roll sizer would bring the cases back to a starting length or at least help.

the case length goes directly to headspace.. most new brass is not even to the headspace spec..  I built myself a 38 super this spring and normal headspace is .900. New starline is very uniform at .896 but shrinks to right around .890 after one firing..

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Re: brass management- when to retire brass to the short line?

Post by LenV on Mon Jul 18, 2016 2:48 pm

jglenn21, I also am grading them on case length. I am just not taking the time to measure them. I never change my crimp die setting. If the case crimps too easy then the case is either too short or getting thin. Either way the round will not be used on the long line. I realize that may be a laid back approach but it works for me. I just recently initiated a rotation system like a grocery store. I found myself just re-loading the top of the stack and bullets at the bottom of the pile have been sitting there a long time. They will last a long time if you never make it down the stack to them. Smile

Len

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